December 3, 2022
vitamin D

Except for vitamin C, there is perhaps no other vitamin that we talk about more often than the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D. But how much do we know about it?

Vitamin D is so popular because it has some good effects on our bodies, and if we are deficient in it, we can get sick more easily. Vitamin D strengthens bones, helps the absorption of calcium, and boosts the immune system, so it should be taken regularly if you don’t have the opportunity to spend hours a day outdoors in the sun. The curse of its popularity is that there are also misconceptions about vitamin D. We’ve added some of these and some facts to help you navigate the sea of information.

Myth: The more vitamin D you take, the healthier you’ll feel

Too much of a good thing can be bad for you, and so it is with vitamin D. Although it’s rare to overdose on vitamin D, it can happen, and it’s called vitamin D toxicity, which can have serious health consequences. This is most often caused by taking too high a dose of vitamin D supplements, so it’s best to listen to the experts and stick to the upper limit of 4000 IU per day.

Fact: Sun exposure helps the body produce vitamin D

We get some of our vitamin D from sun exposure, but factors such as the time of year, time of day, cloud cover, skin pigmentation and sunscreens affect how much vitamin D the body can produce from sunlight. For example, people with darker skin cannot produce as much vitamin D. This is compounded by an urban environment that blocks out light, clothing that covers most of our bodies and the fact that we are increasingly living our lives indoors. This makes it harder for us to access our natural sources of vitamin D, so vitamin supplementation can be a good thing. To get enough vitamin D from sunlight, you should be exposed to sunlight for 5-30 minutes every day, between 10 am and 4 pm, the most dangerous time of day. This is not a skin-friendly solution, so it is worth taking a supplement for normal vitamin D levels.

Myth: It’s easy to get enough vitamin D from food alone

Achieving the correct amount of vitamin D through food alone is difficult because few foods contain sufficient amounts of vitamin D. Examples of foods that contain the most vitamin D include salmon, sardines, mushrooms, eggs, milk and oatmeal. But you would have to eat a lot of these to get enough vitamin D in your body.

Fact: Low vitamin D can make you feel low

If you feel unwell, it’s worth checking your vitamin D levels. Vitamin D plays a role in the production of serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone that helps regulate mood and sleep, so there is a link between low vitamin D levels and mood disorders. There are many causes of depression, but it’s worth getting your vitamin D levels checked if you have persistent symptoms, combined with chronic fatigue because getting your vitamin D back to normal can help.

Myth: Vitamin D supplements lead to weight loss

There is no scientific evidence that taking vitamin D alone can help reduce waist circumference. Researchers agree that it is too early to draw any conclusions that taking vitamin D can help you lose weight because it is not yet clear whether low vitamin D levels are a consequence of obesity or somehow involved in its cause.

Fact: Vitamin D supports the immune system

To keep the immune system working at its best, we need to make sure we have enough vitamin D. Researchers have found that adults with low vitamin D levels are more likely to get colds, coughs and upper respiratory infections. Clinical studies show that vitamin D supplementation can also reduce the number of illnesses that develop in children. In people with severe vitamin D deficiency, taking vitamin D supplements reduced the risk of respiratory tract infections by 70 percent.

How much vitamin D do you need?

During the winter months, a daily intake of 2000 units of vitamin D3 is recommended, which is sufficient to maintain a normal range.

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